Photo credit: Gastronomy
Came here on a random Wednesday night when I was in the area. It was on one of my Foursquare to-try lists, and I figured it would be something simple and cheap. And it certainly did live up to those two expectations. But after reading a favorable article from LA Weekly, would it live up to those expectations?
Beijing Pie House is known for their northern Chinese items, the xian bing in particular. Xian bing, named as “pies” on the menu, are these thick discs of dough stuffed with filling. Think Chinese papusas. The best and most popular variation is the lamb one, and it’s a good one. You have to eat it carefully and slowly, because the inside is hot and juicy, and can squirt all over the place (get your minds out of the gutter, people). It’s kind of like a ghetto version of the shen jian bao, really.
I also tried the jing dong rou bing (at least that’s what the Chinese looked like to me – the English name is “homeland meat cake”). I liked this one just as much as the lamb pie. It has alternating layers of spiced ground pork and pancake (like the one used to wrap beef rolls). The zha jiang mein (“Beijing Style Noodles,” for reasons I can’t comprehend) came out chilled and deconstructed, which I have no problem with. But mix it all together and what you get is a subpar mutt of a Chinese and Korean version in one.
There were only a couple of other tables when I was there. Both tables had the lamb hot pot only. It didn’t look like anything special though – just slices of lamb you could find at 99 Ranch and some veggies. There were also a few to-go orders, and I think in the future that is what I’ll do. Order some lamb pies and meat cake, and you got yourself some pretty damn good snacks. But it wasn’t the most exciting of foods, and I don’t know if I would go out of my way to dine there for northern Chinese, especially with Dean Sin World and 101 Noodle Express nearby.
Chris Hei grade: B
Beijing Pie House
846 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755